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PRESS HIGHLIGHTS

The Varied Flavors of Carmel-by-the-Sea

Led by the same team as L’Auberge Carmel and Relais & Châteaux GourmetFest, expectations are high and more than met at classic Italian restaurant Cantinetta Luca. The culinary team includes specialists in pasta, bread, pastry, sauce, and so forth, and it shows. Click Here to Read the Entire Article

by Aurelia Paquette, September 30. 2019

The Soul Behind Cantinetta Luca’s Handcrafted Italian Food

The Bolognese at Cantinetta Luca in Carmel arrives with a faint train of steam behind it, an airborne parade of flavor. On the plate, thick ribbons of tagliatelle pasta—made in house each morning—intermingle with a from-scratch sauce of veal, beef and sausage that’s slow cooked and deepens for more than 24 hours. Bits of green parsley add color and flavor. Translucent shavings of Parmesan crown the masterpiece. Click Here to Read the Entire Article

by Edible Monterey Bay, September 10. 2019

Reviewer

Rethink Italian at Cantinetta Luca

I’m in an Italian bisteccheria, an exotic, sexy steakhouse. And I’m deliriously content. You may think Italians don’t eat steak, but they certainly do. Click Here to Read the Entire Article

by Mike Hale, Monterey Herald, May 5, 2015

Reviewer

A Brief And Opinionated Guide To Monterey County, Carmel, And Big Sur, California

A longtime local favorite on one of Carmel’s main drags, Luca is especially popular for its house-made and artisan salume, house-made pasta, and bistecca alla fiorentina for two, as well as a convivial vibe and lively late-night scene. Click Here to Read the Entire Article

by Ann Abel, Forbes.com, March 18, 2013

Reviewer

Carmel and Monterey make their mark on fine dining

Opened in 2006, Cantinetta Luca quickly became the best place to go for casual, well-prepared Italian-inspired food. Chef Jason Balestrieri offers all the right things - burrata cheese ($9), arancini ($6), excellent pizza ($13-$16), house-made pastas and beautifully roasted meats and fish ($22-$29).One of the chef's main loves is salumi. In fact, beside the open kitchen he has a salumi room, which led to his next big idea.In August, the restaurant expanded next door with Salumeria Luca, a takeout deli and bakery. As with the restaurant, the offerings change seasonally, but now Balestrieri has a venue to sell his prosciutto, house-made cheeses and other handiwork. The restaurant also offers grilled panini and other items that can be taken away for a picnic.In addition, you can buy pizza dough, olive oils, pasta sauce and pastas, and even some hand-cut steaks.Click Here to Read the Entire Article

by Michael Bauer, SF Chronicle, September 18, 2011

Reviewer

Dose of Vitamin P: Cantinetta Luca Salume Selection

The restaurant has wood fired pizzas, several pastas and entrees, but the aspect that left the biggest impression was the salume, mostly house-made and kept in a glass fronted room between the bar and open kitchen. We ordered the Selection of Salume ($24.95) and subbed in wild boar prosciutto for sweet capicolla from the Bronx for an extra $3. This ended being a great deal, since we got to experience eight different meats, most of them pork-based. Click Here to Read the Entire Article

By Joshua Lurie, Food GPS, April 17, 2012

Reviewer

Feeling Cured: Salumeria Luca unfurls an impressive assemblage of Italian charcuterie, sandwiches and other treats

The first I heard of Salumeria Luca was from a friend who bought her father a salami sandwich for his birthday. He promptly reported that it transported him back to his native Italy with the first bite. I knew with similar immediacy that I had to compare Luca against the high salumeria standards I developed tasting my way through Rome. 
 Traditionally a salumeria is more than a butcher shop. It’s an Italian deli that carries fine, artisanal charcuterie like prosciutto, salami, bologna, mortadella and beef bresaola. Carmel recently gained its only traditional Italian salumeria when Luca opened right next door to its sister Italian restaurant Cantinetta Luca on Dolores Avenue, where riches like imported Italian salume, Chef Jason Balestrieri’s house made sausages and cheeses, carefully curated wines, fresh pasta, fresh baked bread and shelves full of Italian grandmother’s favorite pantry items reside. 
Click Here to Read the Entire Article

by Ulia Zettie, MC Weekly, December 22, 2011

Reviewer

Destinations: Carmel-by-the-Sea

Stumbling into this special find on Dolores Street brings you right back to the best secret family-style restaurants in Rome. Locals and visors enjoy delicious pizza, baked in an authentic, Italian, no gas, wood-burning pizza oven. Do not miss the salume and fresh handmade pasta. Simple and rustic at its best.Click Here to Read the Entire Article

by Milla Sukonik, Caviar Affair, Winter 2014